ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Fire in Weibo

The year 2012 witnessed a new wave of feminism in mainland China with feminist performance art in the street and feminist online activism. Through examining three significant online activities in China since 2012, this paper explores how feminists have made the social media, especially Weibo, their new stage for feminist activities that are different from the traditional ones and that are able to provoke heated discussions among both the public and the mainstream media. Through Weibo and the other social media, grass-roots feminists have opened up a new bottom-up mode of activism different from the dominant top-down paradigm prevalent since the 1980s.

In the Eye of International Feminism

This paper proposes that sex work and feminism have been knotted and kept apart in much of Anglophone feminism in part due to historical and historiographic reasons. This conundrum casts a long shadow on former cold war territories like Taiwan, and has a bearing on the shape taken by feminist politics therein, notably in the "sex wars" of the 1990s.

From the Streets to the Web

Does social media enable forming networks of solidarity between different marginalised groups? Is there a space for non-normative discourses such as the discourse on pleasure? Does digital technology aid in the construction of feminist counter-publics? These are some of the questions explored in this paper. Power relations that operate through social media, including forms of gendered and sexualised violence, are also discussed.

The Woman Rebel and the State

This ethnographic study of the female insurgent and her journey back from camp to the community discusses the encounter between women rebels who get trapped between the state and the organisation. Even as these former combatants cope with the messy politics of disengaging from the outfit that continues to patronise them, it does not always redress their needs and grievances in post-conflict rehabilitation. This article examines the former rebel's possible foray into peace-making and the legal/juridical and social impasses in the matter of her rehabilitation and reintegration into civil life. It also exposes the shrinking democratic space available to these former rebels who negotiate the tricky path beyond conflict.

New Fault Line in Conflict?

This article offers an analysis of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace - factors that bind, facilitate, and influence their participation in peace building and reconstruction processes in north-east India. What factors and structures facilitate and constrain women's emergence as public actors in the time of peace building, particularly when peace building is dominated by governmental policies and visions marked by neo-liberal developmentalism? Can we get a sense of the structure of women's emergence as the subject of peace through a careful analysis of how women have been doing in the region in the last 20 years?

'Why So Much Blood?'

To understand the nature of violence against women in Tripura, three cases from separate moments in history have been studied - the Raiabari, Gandachara, and Omanjoy Para incidents. History has left behind social tension, masculinisation lumpenisation of society and crimes against vulnerable groups. Among the last, women are primary victims and crimes against them are on the rise. Even the gender-neutral left government in Tripura has consistently enforced draconian measures. These forgotten and lost stories of violence need to be brought to wider attention.

New Conundrums for Women in North-East India

This article examines how the women in Nagaland and Tripura negotiate with the government and the underground militant movement. Combating their vulnerability these women have created spaces to be heard by forging alliances with both sides. With their innovative responses, adapting to changing circumstances and situations, they have succeeded in changing the techniques of negotiation. Despite the countless obstacles they have to overcome, they continue to carry on these negotiations and wrest these spaces.

Mothers and Activists in the Hills of Assam

Security experts have argued that women's organisations in north-east India are fragmented, fail to reach out across tribal identities, and lack agency independent of the militants, with whom they have links. This article will address these assumptions by investigating the evolution of women's activism in a conflict-ridden district of Assam, where "mothers" have appeared on the political stage. It asks what the new appeal to "motherhood" actually means, and whether "motherhood" is a vehicle for women's empowerment. How do the "mothers", as political activists, relate to conventional gender roles; how do they interact with previous generations of women's organisations; and how do they relate to other political actors?

Shifting Paradigms

This article attempts to conceive of a contemporary history of gender and sexuality in Kerala. As erotic intimacies remain a slippery terrain for historical explorations, the focus is on the paradigm shifts that distinguish its recent history in this region. The impact of the three political developments of recent times - the feminist movement, the politicisation of sex workers, and the queer movement - is also looked at. Citing instances from popular debates and cultural artefacts, it charts out the complex trajectories of "regional" imaginations and conceptualisations of gender and sexualities in contemporary India.

Home-Based Work and Issues of Gender and Space

This article studies the experiences of a group of women workers involved in home-based work for a food processing unit in Kerala, where membership to Kudumbashree, the state-centric civil society organisation, is necessary for participation. The theoretical aspects of space and gender, in the context of how they are mutually formed and how gendered spaces are produced in the workers' everyday lives are analysed. A geographical explanation of the formation of such gendered spaces under home-based production is presented, following which everyday labour relations and the framing of workers' response strategies, which brought capital and labour to the negotiating table, are illustrated.

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